Monday, December 31, 2012

Waiting for the ball to drop - 2012 Stats

2013 is MINUTES away. I'm a little sad to say goodbye to 2012, because it was a great year for us. Our family grew and our hearts were filled with love over and over again this year. So I'll join the blog world in re-capping our year.

14 - The number of hours I was in labor with our little bundle of joy. (Give or take a couple. And it wasn't like 14 hours of pushing labor...just 14ish from beginning to end.)

9 - Number of weeks of maternity leave I took before going back to work.

13 - Number of weeks back to work before I "retired." (I didn't really retire.)

352 - The number of days I have gone without getting a full 8 hours of sleep. (Also the number of days I have been nursing Campbell... and counting.)

3 - Number of baby monitors we have been through this year.

 3 - Number of airplane trips Campbell has been on this year. (And we survived!)

5 - Years of marriage to Kennedy.


946 - Miles we moved from our Texas home to our new Indiana home.

10.5 - Longest number of consecutive hours that Campbell's ever slept (It happened last night! I think it's because he's a little sick.)

2 - Number of days past my due date before C was born.

This picture was taken ON my due date at the Dr's office - Jan. 11

8 - Number of teeth that baby has!!!

17 - Hours in the car on our road trip to TX for Christmas (plus 17 back.)

50 - Number of weekly photos I have taken of Campbell (2 more weeks to year! Thanks to Young House Love for the idea!)

74 - Number of blog posts I've done this year!

464/493 - Number of instagram photos of mine/Kennedy's.

I think it's obvious what the year of 2012 was all about for us. Can't wait to see what 2013 has in store! Wishing everyone who reads this a happy and prosperous new year. Wishing everyone who doesn't read this would just read it.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

How to be a mom

What did moms do before Google? I think if you could take a look at my google history since Campbell was born, it would make for a hilarious list. But there is literally an answer for almost every single question I've thrown out there.

And yes, I google things by asking questions. Google is my personal genie (or AskJeeves?). For your entertainment, and my records, here is but a glimpse of things I have actually googled since becoming a mom.
  • Why is my infant's poop green?
  • Why does my baby hate me? (In fairness, this was at his first growth spurt and it felt like he cried all.the.time. I didn't know then that this was normal...)
  • How many times a day should a 2 month old poop?
  • Post-partum night sweats
  • What does diaper rash look like? (Diaper rash slide, gross!)
  • Poopy diaper slide show (I promise, this is important for medical purposes!)
  • What are the implications of an infant using media?
  • "Baby has sensitive gag reflex"
I know there are at least 400 other crazy things I've googled, but thanks to my mom brain, I've forgotten them. I am not even counting all the breastfeeding questions I've asked Google over the past year...That's like a whole other post and I feel like I could probably pass a test to become a lactation consultant at this point.

The GREAT thing about googling your mom questions is that there are some great answers and encouraging words out there. I have yet to freak myself out or misdiagnose Campbell with the information I've found. I think the key is that I keep looking for an answer until it tells me I'm already doing the right thing.

Hey all you moms out there! What have you learned from Google?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal

The Dean Family Christmas Card

My original intent was to post a blog complaining about how Santa sucks. But I decided not to be a grinch. Let the record state that I am not such a fan of Santa, and I'll leave it at that.

As we approach C's first birthday, it's getting harder and harder to take his photo sitting still. We recently upgraded our camera so I'd better practice taking action photos. We are spending this holiday season doing all the obligatory 'first Christmas' photos, and have gotten some real gems. Maybe they're not the perfectly posed photos, but I kind of prefer the ones that show our reality.

In his Christmas jammies in front of the Christmas tree...but he wanted to see the lights!

Dad props him back up...not pleased

This is the best we could get. A little blurry, but I love it.

Today we spent C's entire awake time driving all over the city in search of Santa.

Everywhere he was advertised to be, he wasn't. Then we find Santa's village at the mall and he's on his lunch/cigarette break. The line was LONG, with each family taking 5-10 minutes with Santa. 

Side note: Is it normal for families to take their family photo with Santa? I am new to this Santa game, but it struck me as odd. Kennedy scolded me for making fun, saying it was probably their family tradition. But I was grumpy. So we left. We found another Santa location and went in. Not much of a line (literally 3 families ahead of us), but still we waited there for 1 whole hour. 

This Santa was giving each child about 5 minutes also, which is kind of sweet. But not so sweet when all you want is a 10 second photo right before nap time. And not so sweet when parents let their kids skip in line and no one says anything. (Some parents need spankings, but that's another blog post.)

On our 3rd Santa stop. Waiting.

More waiting. Get me up to see Santa already!

Campbell got a jingle bell and that entertained us for a little bit...

Right now I am building suspense. I want you to feel like you waited as long as we did to see Santa. It was long. Grueling. (Anti-climactic).

Here he is with Mrs. took a second to warm up to her but it helped pass some time.

Ok, well that's kind of sweet...maybe Santa and crew isn't so bad after all.

After watching families skip in line, with not a word said, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I convinced the high school girls who were working the cash register to call our name next so we could get 10 seconds with Santa and leave. I threatened a melt-down of epic proportions if we weren't next. They obliged.

 What kills me about the Santa picture isn't that C is crying. That was a given after waiting a total of 2.5 hours to see him. I think you should take a closer look at Santa's face. Before he got a crying baby on his lap, he was all smiles and kindness. The second we shoved Campbell at him, his entire spirit was broken.

This is how Kennedy found out that Santa isn't real.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dining Room Progress

Once upon a time, Kennedy and I went to Goodwill to find a tacky Christmas sweater and a white elephant gift for his work party.

We left without either, BUT I found the perfect chandelier for our dining room for only....wait for it....$25.00!

Also, we bought an ottoman for our living room that I plan on slip-covering once I find the fabric I want. More on that to come!

Here are some before and after photos of the dining room after my hunky husband wired the new light fixture. We went from a 2-bulb fixture to a 9-bulb fixture...imagine the transformation! Now look at it!

Before, this is how dark the room was in the middle of the day. It probably doesn't help to have a tree blocking some of the natural light, but that is seasonal and really didn't make much difference to the amount of light.

After! It's much brighter now, even though it's later in the day. The bad news is now you can see how undecorated it is...better get on that!

P.S. Can you see the crown molding that Kennedy hung in that tray ceiling? He's so talented. This is what the dining room looked like when we bought the house:
Here it is currently (again):

It's coming along!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tiny Rooms

Well the holidays are upon us, and while things around us speed up, the house projects are slowing down a bit. I can't really tell you what I've done this week. Other than not drinking Dr Pepper since LAST WEEK. (Wait...maybe that's why things have slowed down?)

Last night, I actually said out loud that I didn't care about finishing decorating for Christmas. OUT LOUD. I couldn't even believe that came out of my mouth. We don't have a single light outside. I have only put up 1 of my 3 nativity scenes (and it's a nativity that we actually have up all year round, so that doesn't really count.) I have no energy!

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So we actually tackled 3 rooms in our house before Thanksgiving, and I never got around to sharing the end results. Actually, it's because they weren't done yet. And they still aren't totally done, but they're done enough to share some progress.

The rooms are small and the budget was almost nil (because I'm cheap like that,) so here's where we're at!

1. The Laundry Room
Something you should know is that we went from having a huuuuge laundry room (by laundry room standards) to having a walk-thru laundry room. What that means is that you have to walk through the laundry room to get to the garage. There are 2 doors in this tiny room, plus our washer and dryer.

The pro is that we can't store much junk in there. The con is that we can't store much junk in there. In our old, huge laundry room, we rarely did laundry because we had so much junk just shoved in there. So I'm trying to stay positive here about my tiny laundry room.

I painted the room Valspar's Woodrow Wilson Putty, leftover from the office. Kennedy took out one of two cabinets above the washer/dryer and put a shelf across the top. I put a tension rod in the empty space so we would have somewhere to hang clothes (instead of putting them all over furniture in the living room to dry.)

I'm thinking of hanging some kind of cutesy laundry-type print on this bare wall. This is the first thing you see when coming in from the garage. To the right, behind the door knob, I'm going to hang some hooks for jackets, dog leashes, purses, etc.

2. The Half Bathroom
This room is tiiiiiiny. But gets a lot of use (sorry) because it's the only bathroom on the main floor.

Vanity before  

Toilet and cabinet before

It had a really nice mirror in there before, but not necessarily my taste. I painted the walls the same color as the laundry room, and painted the vanity a deep navy. It is actually darker in person than it shows in this picture. (Thanks, camera flash!) I hung this mirror that I already had temporarily but plan on making one or finding one with a reclaimed wood look. Also, I need to find some fun hardware for the vanity. (Fun fact! Every bathroom in our house has this builder-grade vanity with those drawers at the top, but none of them are actually drawers. Super annoying.)

This room also used to have a cabinet above the toilet, but we removed it since we didn't need as much storage in there, and it took up a lot of visual space. We relocated it to the upstairs guest bathroom.

3. Upstairs Guest Bathroom
This is Campbell's bathroom, but he's a baby, so I went a little more girly than he would probably like if he had an opinion on bathroom decor. However, he loves the color red, so it's win-win for everyone, right?

***UPDATE!*** I just found this before picture of the guest bathroom from when we bought the house! 

There's the cabinet from the downstairs bathroom! Looks much better in here. Plus, now I have a place to store baby things that need to stay out of reach of the baby (medicine, soap, etc.) 

On the right side, I hung some hooks that actually came from our old house. It was originally in our laundry room, and it was a cream color. I spray painted it red to tie into the shower curtain.

Here it is up close. I painted the screws with nail polish so it wouldn't be all "BAM! SILVER!" in your face.

View from the tub. I have plans to paint the vanity (not sure what color or maybe a darker stain?) and to frame out the bathroom mirror a la Pinterest.

4. Things we haven't been up to.

Painting the guest room or unpacking that box.

Organizing the new shelf in the office or unpacking that box.

Throwing away that rotting pumpkin on our front porch. Sorry Santa!

And now for some words from C-Baby:

7 mv4230pre b

This child is a genius.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still moving in + a Christmas craft

I feel that I need to warn you that this blog post will be all over the place. For the purpose of order, I will number my thoughts.

1. Still moving in
We moved into our house mid-August, and all of our boxes are unpacked. But I feel like we're still moving in. I think it's because we have less places to put our things in this house. The old house had lots of closets, and in places that made sense.

Also, we were able to grow into that house (in that, we didn't have as much stuff when we first moved in.) We went down a little in square footage here, but WAY down in storage space. So it's been a little bit of a challenge to get things in places that make sense. Let's just say, I feel like our house is going to be super organized even if it looks super messy on the surface.

One good thing about moving is that it forces you to deal with your clutter and pare down. We haven't done such a great job of this, but I'm in inventory mode right now. I'm on the brink of "just sell everything or give it away so I don't have to organize it!" Kennedy will be happy when I reach that stage.

2. BPA
We've been hearing about BPA for years now. Remember when you had a Nalgene bottle and then you were supposed to get rid of it because it had BPA in it? But you thought it was just a recommendation, so you still used it for a while? (And then all the Nalgene bottles that still had BPA in them went on sale for super cheap and you bought a bunch because what a steal!) Joke's on you (and me.)

The more I learn about BPA, the more it creeps me out. Then I saw this article a couple of days ago, and decided to take my life (and endocrine system) back! So I took all the tupperware out of our kitchen and replaced it with glassware. I got this 20-piece set at Bed Bath & Beyond, and think it will work well for us. And if I need a bigger container, I plan on using other glassware we have with foil or lids.

ALSO, I'm cutting back on using canned foods and plan on buying fresh foods as much as possible. Please read the article. There are many negative effects of BPA, and the scariest thing is that it can be passed through several generations. Ok, I need to get off the soap box now. Sorry if I ruined your day with this information.

3. Cheap photo prints!
I don't know if I'm the last person or the first person to figure this out, but did you know you can have photo enlargements made at Office Max for CHEAP? I happened to figure it out when I was calling around to find places that would print 11x14 photos quickly. Everywhere with photo centers (Wal-mart, CVS, Walgreens, etc) had a few days wait time, and the prints were like 8 bucks each. Sorry, but I don't spend 8 bucks on ANYTHING except food.

I happened to call Office Max to see if they did photo enlargements and they said yes, kind of. The prints aren't on photo paper, but are printed on a glossy card stock. And they actually print to 11x17 (and bigger) and can just trim the sides down. The cost? Somewhere around $1.50 each.

I had a few photos printed yesterday and I just emailed them to the store I was picking them up from, and then they were ready by the time I got there. The quality is excellent, and since I framed them, You can't tell it's not on photo paper. So score for that tip!

Living room wall, complete!

4. Another Christmas craft
Thanks again, Pinterest, for this wonderful idea!

I got these clear glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby for $4.00 (for a set of 12). Took out my acrylic paint from my craft closet and started dripping it inside the ornaments. I would drip a few colors, then swirl. These particular ornaments also have an iridescent finish.

The result was a beautiful, marbleized-looking ornament. I love it. It reminds me of sedimentary layers or agate (Science nerd!)




I plan on finding some colorful ribbon to tie around the loops, and maybe hang them in some windows.

Wouldn't you love to get a Christmas gift with one of these tied on to the package? It's a super cheap way to dress up some gift wrap.

These would also make great crafts for kids! A kids' Christmas craft that you actually will want to hang on your tree! Here are tips from me so you may learn from my mistakes experience.

1. Do small drips of paint, don't just squeeze half the bottle of paint into the ornament. The paint will move slower with small drips, but you won't be left over with a ton of paint sitting in the bottom that will never dry.

2. Slowly turn the ornament with paint in it, don't shake it. It will mix the colors and you'll end up having a bunch of brown ornaments. Ew. (Unless you like that sort of thing.)

3. If you have extra paint that is pooling at the bottom of the ornament, just turn the ornament upside down over the trash can and let the excess drip out. This will allow the ornament to dry fully.

That's all. Sorry for all the words.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Craft - Blingy Tree Topper

How did people know how to decorate things before Pinterest? I'm going to be honest and say that literally 98% of my decorating ideas come from Pinterest. I am NOT as original as you might think I am. I totally steal ideas all the time.

One of the ideas I stole for our tree this Christmas is a glittery monogram tree-topper. It was ridiculously easy and gave me the bling that I constantly desire.

Step 1: Buy a cardboard letter.
Step 2: Paint the letter with glue (Elmer's would probably work best because it's pretty runny)
Step 3: Put glitter on it!


Our peacock tree

I started ripping off another Pinterest craft today, maybe I'll share it tomorrow! Yayyyyy Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012!!

We've been hit with a nasty cold over here at the Dean household, and it's slowed us down a bit and put some of us out of commission. I absolutely hate being sick (who doesn't, I guess?), and I rarely am. So when I feel a little under the weather, I spend most of the time in denial about it. I have too much stuff to do!

Anyhow, I was looking through our Thanksgiving pictures and thought it could not go without sharing! We spent the week in Kentucky with Kennedy's family, and it was a great little reunion. We were sad that not everyone could make it this time, but still managed to have some fun. Thankfully, Kennedy and I were able to keep from getting sick until after we got home.

This guy, however, suffered through like a little snot-rocketing champ. You wouldn't even notice he was sick if he wasn't dripping from the nose constantly. (Sorry to any and all family members who caught whatever it is we brought to Thanksgiving.)

The best part (for me) was getting to see Campbell reunited with family he hasn't seen in a while, as well as meeting family for the first time! Special moments, all around.

Campbell with his Grandma Dean - they love each other.

Here, with his Aunt Julie and Great-Grandmother.

Cousin Miles (can't help but hear him say "Exercisin'" every time I see his picture now,) Aunt Stephanie and Cousin Audrey (Due January 2013!)

This looks familiar - with Uncle Stinson! In a few short years, Uncle Stinson will finally have someone to wrestle with again, since Kennedy is now 30 and 'too old for that kind of thing.'

Our view for the week - so peaceful.

Kennedy got this shot, and I am forever grateful to him for that. 

The week was spent eating, lounging, and visiting. All these things are like chicken soup for my soul. Mmmmm, soup. 

I also got to take some fun maternity pictures of Stinson & Stephanie, I'll share a couple of my favorites:

Of course there are many more family members not pictured in this post, and I will blame that on the fact that Kennedy had the camera most of the time, and he tends to only take pictures of C-Baby and the dogs. Sorry to the rest of the family, it doesn't mean we don't love you! :-)

Now it is time for me to sit down and make a bunch of to-do lists, because that's how I function! This house is a sick wreck, and not up to my Christmas par. So that's what I'll be doing tonight!

But before I go, I need to list out things I am thankful for. And not to be cliche, but because I want to make sure to take time and recognize the good things in my life. This list is incomplete, but a great start.

1. For my handsome, generous, sacrificing husband. He does anything and everything for me, and I don't even have to ask. I'm extremely spoiled and undeserving.

2. For Campbell. Light of our lives. Loves everyone and spreads cheer everywhere he goes. He may or may not grow up to be Santa.

3. For family (immediate AND in-laws), and for the quality of people we are blessed to be surrounded by and influenced by on a regular basis.

4. Food, duh.

5. The dogs, most of the time. For their unconditional love.

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